Skip to main content

Patrick McAuslan Lecture

This annual lecture, which commemorates the late Professor Patrick McAuslan, a founding member of Birkbeck's School of Law, invites an eminent scholar to speak about a pressing legal issue. 

2016: Dikgang Moseneke 

  • Judge Dikgang Moseneke, 'Rule of law, social justice and education: the crisis of the social transition from Apartheid to democracy'. 
  • Speaker's biographyJudge Dikgang Moseneke was educated while serving a prison sentence on Robben Island, together with his friend Nelson Mandela, for opposing Apartheid. He has served in South Africa's Constitutional Court, as Deputy Chief Justice and Acting Chief Justice, and he is distinguished for his commitment to the rule of law, social justice, democracy and accessible education. 

2015: Bianca Jagger

2014: Stanley Fish

  • Professor Stanley Fish, 'But we’re professors: academic freedom and public employee law in the United States'. 
    • Speaker's biography: Stanley Fish is the Davidson-Kahn Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Law at Florida International University and Dean Emeritus of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He is also Distinguished Professor of English, Criminal Justice and Political Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Professor Fish is a prolific author whose has published over 200 scholarly publications and books. 

    2013: Angela Davis

    • Professor Angela Davis, 'Freedom is a constant struggle: closures and continuities'. 
      • Speaker's biography: Angela Davis is an activist, writer and Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies at University of California Santa Cruz. Her work emphasises the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial and gender justice.  

      2012: Costas Douzinas

      • Professor Costas Douzinas, 'Is there a right to disobedience and resistance?' 
      • Speaker's biography:Costas Douzinas is Professor of Law at Birkbeck and Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities. He was educated in Athens during the dictatorship and he joined the student resistance. He left Greece in 1974 and continued his studies in London, where he received a Master's and a PhD degree from LSE and, in Strasbourg, he received a degree for teachers of human rights. He has been a visiting Professor at many universities, including Athens, Paris, Thessaloniki and Prague. He is well known for his work in human rights, aesthetics, critical jurisprudence, postmodern legal theory and political philosophy.  

      2011: Peter Goodrich

      • Peter Goodrich, 'An instance of the fingerpost: an excursus on the legal and the digital'. 
      • Speaker's biography: Peter Goodrich is Professor of Law and Director of Law and Humanities at Cardozo Law School in Yeshiva University, New York. He was the founding Dean of the Department of Law at Birkbeck, where he was also the Corporation of London Professor of Law. He has authored 12 books and written extensively on legal history and theory, law and literature and semiotics. He is managing editor of Law and Literature and was the founding editor of Law and Critique

      2010: Achille Mbembe

      • Achille Mbembe, 'Law, democracy and the ethics of mutuality: notes on the South African experiment'. 
      • Speaker's biographyAchille Mbembe is a Cameroonian philosopher, political theorist and public intellectual. Mbembe is currently a member of the staff at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER) at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and he also has an annual visiting appointment at the Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University. He is a contributing editor to the scholarly journal Public Culture